February '17

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14 THE SHOP FEBRUARY 2017 In 1951, Joe Mondello started racing at airports and drag strips throughout Southern California. Before he was 17 years old, he had ported and relieved more than 50 Ford flathead V-8s for the finest engine builders of the era. Mondello's first car was a 1940 Ford coupe with a 303-ci flathead V-8, four Stromberg carbs, Edelbrock heads and manifold and an Engle cam. Traco Engineering, known for Indy cars and Sprint cars, used Mondello heads exclusively. Mondello's clients back then read like a Who's Who of drag racing. The famed Mondello-Matsubara Blown Fuel Altered won two National Events in the 1960s. In the 1960s and '70s it was the fastest wedge-head Chevy. It ran a 7.24-second quarter-mile at 213 mph during the 1969 Indy U.S. Nationals. Mondello began doing R&D work for Oldsmobile in 1968, earning him the nickname Dr. Oldsmo- bile. He established benchmarks in the performance industry in every decade since the 1950s. In the 1960s, Mondello developed the Posi-Flow Combustion Chamber design. He was responsible for many GM head designs. Mondello cylinder heads were used by Dean Moon, Ak Miller, Craig Breedlove, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits and the legendary Mickey Thompson. Mondello was at the first SEMA Show in 1966. When Olds won the Pikes Peak hill climb that year, it set records with a Mondello-prepped Toronado and it then took the Mexican Road Race three years in a row. Mondello also assisted in the design, testing and troubleshooting of many other Olds racing engines. In 1969, Mondello won Car Craft magazine's Engine Builder of the Year award. He also drove as a factory-backed racer for Olds, setting two NHRA records. Read more about Joe "Dr. Oldsmobile" Mondello by visiting: THESHOPMAG.COM A Celebration of SEMA Show Pioneers \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Anthony Bowe is THE SHOP's Digital Content Editor, overseeing content on the website (www. and in the daily eNewsletter. Send news tips or other inquiries to The SEMA Show is many things to many people—a gigantic celebration of all the specialty automo- tive aftermarket has to offer. But it had to start somewhere. In this case, it was southern California in 1967, as hot rodders and fledgling parts builders came together at the beginning of something special. The industry is fortunate to have many pioneers from what was originally called the High Performance & Custom Trade Show still around to talk about the good ol' days. And we've enjoyed bringing some of their stories to our readers online. You can get THE SHOP's eNewsletter delivered directly to your inbox every morning. Sign up by visiting our website, www., and scrolling until you find the "Get the eNewsletter" box on the right-hand side—plug in your email address, click "Sign Up," and the eNewsletter will be promptly delivered the next business day. Our monthly roundup of online news. By Anthony Bowe DR. OLDSMOBILE Joe Mondello began doing R&D work for Olds in 1968, earning him the nickname "Dr. Oldsmobile." THE ISKY Ed "Isky" Iskenderian is a genuine piece of hot rod history and a man who attended the first SEMA Show with his Iskenderian Racing Cams company. There was good reason for him to be at that event, since Iskenderian had served as the first president of the Speed Equipment Manufacturing Association in 1963 and 1964. The Iskenderians were Armenians who fled Turkey and came to America around 1910. They settled in Northern California's wine country, where Ed Iskenderian was born in 1921. When frost destroyed its vineyards, the family moved to Los Angeles. His father ran a shoe store in the downtown area. "I didn't know about hot rods yet," Iskenderian once said. "Around 1933, when I was about 12, I would see older guys driving stripped-down Model Ts or Whippets. We called them 'Gug Jobs' or 'Get Up and Go's," or 'Hot Iron.' They did say 'rods,' too." Ed "Isky" Iskenderian is a genuine piece of hot rod history—a man who attended the first SEMA Show with his Iskenderian Racing Cams company and tested in the dry lake beds of California.

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